Precise ParkLink excited to work with OCH
We sat down with Precise ParkLink Director Tom Keeley, who explained a little bit about how the company started and the rollout of the program at OCH. The company took over management of OCH parking lots in October. Visitor parking enforcement began in December. Enforcement of tenant spaces will begin later this year.
Q: Tell us a little about Precise ParkLink, how did it get started?
A: We started with one office in 2006 and have steadily grown since. Our first major contract was with the City of Ottawa. We put in the gated equipment at their lots and the parking ticket machines on the streets.
We have steadily expanded the business, now we work with the Ottawa International Airport, the Ottawa Hospital, TD Place, the Queensway Carleton Hospital, the Montfort Hospital, all the universities and colleges – as well as private companies and landlords for their paid visitor parking.
Q: What attracted you to work with OCH?
A: We were asked to submit a proposal, and we had been working with other landlords – so it seemed like a good fit.
Q: How does license plate recognition work?
A: License plate recognition (LPR) software scans the license plate against the list of paid users. It is done in real time and we compare the plates against those who are registered in the app. That is why when we move to tenant enforcement it is really for tenants to be proactive and make sure they provide OCH with up-to-date vehicle information.
Q: What’s different about Precise ParkLink than other parking management companies?
A: We have a different philosophy – we are not in the business of just handing out tickets – everything we do is a partnership. It is about improving people’s experience. Taking care of parking lots can be expensive, there is asphalt to maintain and snow removal – parking fees can help pay for some of that.
The first and last thing a person sees when they visit somewhere is the parking lot, first when you park to go in, and then when you retrieve your car. We want to make that experience a good one.
We want to be seen as an extra set of hands. Our philosophy is to work with people – we build in a little bit of grace time before we ticket to see if anyone comes out. We are not aggressive.
Q: What are some of the challenges taking over the OCH contract?
A: OCH owns a lot of properties, so there was a lot of information to transfer.
Q: What has worked well during the roll out of the new contract?
A: We did not do any enforcement for the first two months of the contract. We wanted to make sure everything was right before we went into the field. We wanted people to understand that it is a new system. It is not what was there before. After that was all in place, we have had good compliance with the usage of the mobile payment system.